WASHINGTON — Most of the October employment data took a turn for the worse in a dismal report, as payrolls printed down 240,000 (27,000 unadjusted was due to the Boeing Corp. strike). However, there were massive lower revisions to September-August totaling 179,000, presumably from additional responses that came in weaker than assumed in the first estimate.

The civilian unemployment rate surged 0.4 point to 6.5%, a level last seen in March 1994. Unemployment jumped across ages and sex. The jobless rate was just 4.8% a year ago.

Average hourly earnings posted up 0.2% for 3.5% and soon should slow further as jobs are lost; this marked the second month it posted a below-trend plus-0.2%. Hours also fell and the data suggests lower incomes and production.

— Market News International

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